BC Scene

The arts and culture of British Columbia come to Ottawa/Gatineau

April 21 to May 3, 2009

Media Centre

The National Arts Centre unveils the full artist lineup for BC Scene -- Tickets now on sale for 90 events featuring 600 artists

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

OTTAWA (Canada) -- Canada’s National Arts Centre today unveiled the entire lineup of artists and events for BC Scene, a dazzling multi-disciplinary arts festival that will take place in Ottawa-Gatineau from April 21 to May 3, 2009.

Tickets are now on sale for what will be the largest gathering of British Columbia artists ever presented outside the province. BC Scene will feature 600 artists from disciplines as varied as music, theatre, dance, visual and media arts, literature and culinary arts in more than 30 venues around the National Capital Region.

Click here for the complete BC Scene lineup or visit bcscene.ca to view the festival brochure.


The latest in a series of highly successful national festivals exploring Canada’s cultural panorama, BC Scene will celebrate a dynamic culture that is a fusion of traditional and contemporary, East and West, and established and emerging artists. Featuring well-known artists such as Diana Krall, Crystal Pite, Bramwell Tovey with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and Valdy, BC Scene is also an excellent opportunity to discover artists who may not be as well known, but who are now having a significant impact on the West Coast arts scene. In addition to featuring the classical and chamber music works of 22 Canadian composers, BC Scene will also showcase the rich cultural diversity of the province through a series of performances and collaborations with artists from First Nations and Asian communities.

The festival will also be the place to explore various issues related to the role of artists in the development of a sustainable society, notably through a special Art Matters forum with Their Excellencies The Governor General Michaëlle Jean and Mr. Jean-Daniel Lafond.

BC Scene gets underway April 21 with SWARM, a unique multimedia moveable feast that is part visual art installations, part interactive theatre, part performance art, part wine-tasting and part rave, featuring 11 exhibits profiling the work of 60 B.C. artists. And it’s FREE!
According to Heather Moore, Producer and Executive Director of BC Scene. this festival has it all: “from theatre in boxes, to dance unplugged, all the way to a gallery ‘SWARM,’ British Columbia’s adventurous and audacious arts scene will take Ottawa-Gatineau by storm this spring.”

Support for B.C. Artists

Today, various BC Scene partners expressed their support for British Columbia artists:

• “B.C. Scene marks a great occasion for Canadians to experience the heart and soul of British Columbia’s arts and culture,” said The Hon. James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages at today’s announcement. “As a proud British Columbian, I look forward to taking in some of the province’s best and brightest talent. Our Government is pleased to support and be part of this celebration of Canada’s unique creative talent.”

• “Every year, people from all over the world visit British Columbia to take in its majestic, natural beauty. But they also come to B.C. to experience its rich and varied culture,” said Bill Bennett, B.C. Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts. “The BC Scene will not only present a tantalizing glimpse of our province’s dynamic arts and culture community to a national audience, it will also generate unique business opportunities for many of our artists on the international stage.”

• “Plasco Energy Group is pleased to support the talented performers of British Columbia on a national stage,” Roderick M. Bryden, President and CEO, Plasco Energy Group, the Presenting Partner of BC Scene. “We are proud to be a part of this dynamic cultural event.”

• “B.C. is a province unlike any other in Canada, so BC Scene is sure to be just as unique,” said NAC President and CEO Peter Herrndorf. “The National Arts Centre’s BC Scene will shine the spotlight on the rich artistic legacy and vibrant fusion of cultures that British Columbia is renowned for.”

BC Scene Presenters’ Program

Among those in attendance for this unique showcase of B.C. artists will be more than 60 Canadian and international presenters – producers, buyers, or talent scouts – to discover B.C. talent and bring it back to their own audiences. The BC Scene Presenters’ Program, made possible by Western Economic Diversification Canada, helps emerging and established artists further their careers by inviting domestic and international arts presenters to attend BC Scene and seek out new talent and touring productions for audiences beyond the festival. So far, representatives from Canada, China, Singapore, Taiwan, the United States, Italy and the United Kingdom have confirmed their attendance.

Canadians from coast-to-coast and beyond can take part in the excitement of BC Scene by tuning in to their public broadcaster during the festival, as it will feature live recordings and interviews on CBC Radio One, CBC Radio 2, online at cbcradio3.com and CBC Television, as well as on Radio-Canada's Espace musique. CBC Radio will record and broadcast artists such as Dan Mangan, Danny Michel, Carolyn Mark, Cousin Harley, Black Mountain, Ladyhawk, Jon Kimura Parker and James Parker. CBC Radio One's daily arts show Q, with host Jian Ghomeshi, is set to broadcast a special BC Scene program from Ottawa during the festival.
Artistic Advisors

To help in the colossal task of producing a festival of this size and scope, BC Scene has called on a team of B.C.-based artistic advisors including Doug Cox (Music), Rachel Ditor (Theatre), Helga Pakasaar (Visual and Media Arts), Alma Lee (Literature), and Geraldine Manossa (First Nations and Métis programming). They have brought their extensive knowledge and expertise and joined forces with dozens of B.C.-based creators, artists and producers to develop a program that reflects B.C.’s contemporary cultural landscape.


BC Scene would like to thank the Government of Canada, the Government of British Columbia, Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts for their generous support of this event.

The National Arts Centre and National Arts Centre Foundation gratefully acknowledge the support of Presenting Partner Plasco Energy Group, Special Partners The Radcliffe Foundation, The Audain Foundation, Martha Lou Henley, Milton and Fei Wong and Dr. Donald B. Rix. Acknowledgment is also extended to Major Partner Enbridge Inc. and Supporting Partners Anndraya T. Luui, Canwest, HSBC Bank Canada, Holiday Inn and Screen Siren Pictures. For their commitment to supporting B.C. arts and artists, we give special thanks to the NAC Friends – B.C. BC Scene Media Partners include CBC/Radio-Canada, National Post, Vancouver Magazine and Western Living, Ottawa Citizen, LeDroit, and the Vancouver Sun.

The NAC Foundation also extends a warm thank you to the B.C. Strategy Council, a committed group of individuals whose leadership, support and guidance are key to the success of BC Scene. The B.C. Strategy Council is led by Honorary Chairs Milton and Fei Wong, Chair Donald B. Rix and includes members Shirley Barnett, Eric Charman, Robert Fairweather, Moh and Yulanda Faris, Joanne Louie Mah, Scott Shepherd, Donald Shumka, and Kathleen Speakman.

Tickets and Music Pass

To buy tickets in person, visit the NAC Box Office at 53 Elgin, or go online at bcscene.ca.

New to BC Scene – the Music Pass. For only $50, festival-goers can enjoy six performances from any of the many designated “pass” events, identified with a six for $50 icon. Superb value, the pass makes it easy to see a wide range of music performances over the course of the festival. With 30 events to choose from, it may be difficult to buy only one pass. Passes are available at the NAC Box office and can be redeemed for tickets beforehand or at the performance venue on the night. Tickets are subject to availability.

To receive programming updates about BC Scene, please subscribe to the BC Scene email list at bcscene.ca.

- 30 -

For more information:
Laura Denker
LOF Communications
(613) 747-5949
Cell : (613) 299-8844

Carl Martin
Communications, National Arts Centre
(613) 947-7000, ext. 560
Cell : (613) 291-8880

Media Contacts

Laura Denker
LOF Communications
(613) 299-8844
(613) 747-5949

Carl Martin
Communications, NAC
(613) 947-7000, ext. 560
Cell : (613) 291-8880

About the Scene

Imagine 600 artists from B.C. representing all disciplines, performing in the national spotlight on the stages of Ottawa/Gatineau: that's BC Scene, presented by the National Arts Centre, spring 2009.

Stay in the Know

We want you to be the first to hear about the exciting things we're planning for BC Scene.

Join the Scene

Find us on Facebook



Partner Logos more partners National Arts Centre Plasco Energy Group Government of Canada Government of British Columbia Western Economical Diversification Canada